In 1961, the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) was established as an umbrella organization to unify and meet the needs of an increasing presence of civil rights organizations in Mississippi, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and a host of local organizations. In 1963, COFO made 1017 John R. Lynch Street its home, and this office served as the state headquarters for the modern Mississippi civil rights movement. Making voter registration and education a top priority for the Mississippi movement, COFO was instrumental in organizing the 1963 Freedom Vote, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, and the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project, better known as Freedom Summer.
Opened by Jackson State University in 2011, the COFO Civil Rights Education Center has hosted visitors from around the world. Although it is dedicated to preserving the past, the COFO Center is committed to challenging and cultivating young minds, fostering the development of future leaders and community builders, and opening its doors to individuals and groups organizing to support the community in the same ways that COFO did in the 1960s.
To visit the COFO Civil Rights Education Center, contact the staff of the Margaret Walker Center at 601-979-3935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.